PIQUA — After a well-received alterna-rock kickoff to their sophomore year in June, Rock Piqua! is offering some Southern-fried rock ‘n’ roll for their second free concert tonight at Lock Nine Riverfront Park.
The next installment of the three-event concert series, presented by Mainstreet Piqua and the Piqua Arts Council, will feature headliners The Southern Gothic, fronted by Connor Christian, Billboard’s Artist on the Verge for 2012. Opening act Ashley Martin of Springboro will get things started at 7 p.m.
“Last year, we heard some feedback that indicated people wanted more diversity in the genres for the concerts,” said Mainstreet Piqua Executive Director Lorna Swisher. “So this year, we challenged the committee to make sure each concert had a different genre.”
While the committee is considering this a country music show, The Southern Gothic might not agree with that.
“We don’t like to box ourselves in,” Christian said. “But we hear from fans all the time that our blend of sounds and influences is one of the things they love. When we get on a stage, it just clicks. It’s seamless. And based on the way people are reacting, it must be working.”
The Southern Gothic will play country ballads “Only Need You,” and “She’s My Salvation,” as well as fiddle-driven and harmony-rich songs like “Sheets Down.”
But their unique brand won’t be the only one on display. Ashley Martin is really coming into her own in the music world. This year alone, she’s released seven new songs in her quest to release one original song a month for the entire year.
“With touring full time, and releasing a new original song every month, we’re staying pretty busy,” said Martin. “This year has been great. We’re playing shows every weekend, from small shows to 5,000-people venues in Put-In-Bay … we give it our all every day.”
When asked about how ahead in her songwriting she is, Martin said, “Before we started the new single every month, we were three months ahead. By the end of that, with touring all the time it was hard to stay ahead. One month, I managed to write and record two songs, but most of the time, I’m just working while we travel from show to show.”
In addition to the musical offerings at the concert, Susie’s Big Dipper and the Duck Wagon will be on site selling food and artists will have merchandise available.